Mark Messersmith Outdoor Track and Field Complex

Racing to the future

Outdoor track & field complex gets an upgrade

UNI is on the cusp of becoming the only Missouri Valley Conference member capable of hosting both the indoor and outdoor track championships.

A facility upgrade planned for the Mark Messersmith Outdoor Track and Field Complex will impact more than 25% of UNI’s current student-athletes and benefit thousands of users annually including UNI students, local businesses, private groups and the general public.

The improvements will boast one of the finest indoor/outdoor track facilities in the entire conference, making it a prime spot to host upcoming championships.

A first-class facility for training and competitions opens up the opportunity to host more events even beyond the MVC Outdoor Championships. It helps UNI maintain competitiveness in the MVC and across the country.

Renovations would enhance the student-athlete experience and heavily impact recruiting for future Panthers.

“An improved outdoor track facility will allow our student-athletes an opportunity to excel and maintain a high level of success in the Missouri Valley Conference and across the country,” said UNI Head Cross Country/Track & Field Coach Dave Paulsen,‘04, ‘06.

The outdoor track and the supporting subsurface located at the Mark Messersmith Outdoor Track and Field Complex must be replaced due to multiple areas failing in quality and reliability. The current track is no longer fit for NCAA Division I athletic competitions.

Additional upgrades to the facility include steeplechase pit replacement, improvements to the hammer throw area and a new javelin throw area. Updates to the long jump, triple jump, discus, shot put and pole vaulting areas are also included in the renovation.

Projected costs are expected to be $1.46 million.

The Mark Messersmith Outdoor Track and Field Complex, located northeast of the UNI-Dome, originally opened in 1998. It features an eight-lane, 400-meter track with event areas for long jump, triple jump, discus/hammer throw, javelin, shot put and pole vault.

Since the complex opened, it has hosted four Missouri Valley Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

Anyone looking to support the project can visit or contact Jamar Thompson at or (319) 273-7817.